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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

December 10, 2010


I am, for the most part, a pretty optimistic kind of guy. A “half-full glass” kind of guy. I’m also pretty realistic about those things which happen around me. It sounds odd to be both optimistic and realistic, since the reality of day-to-day life can be overwhelming and not lend itself to optimism.

Recently I came across a little quiz in the New York Times. It measures intuition (something that we all think we are good at). So what you do is watch a short video which is amusing…and then view a series of objects which slowly materialize on your computer screen and type in the answer as quickly as possible. For part two, you view a few pictures of tragedy and then watch another series of objects materialize on the screen and see how fast you can intuit those.

Of course, the object is that one’s mood affects intuition and that after watching “happy/positive” videos one will be able to intuit more objects in a quicker fashion. Conversely, after watching a “tragic/negative video” one will be less intuitive.

For the record, I had an intuition even before taking the test and reading the outcome of the national average, that viewing happy things would make the majority of people more intuitive than viewing tragic things. (Turns out I was right too!)

So, I took the test.

After viewing the “happy” video I scored significantly below the national average for intuition.

After viewing the “tragedy” video, I scored significantly above the national average for intuition.

I didn’t expect those results; I thought this would be a light-hearted thing and I would be more intuitive after having viewed happy things. But, turns out I was wrong… I am less intuitive after happy things. But then again, the test proves another point… I am an anomaly.

Recently I had a fitful night’s sleep, something that is rare for me. I had a series of dreams. In one, I fired a whole group of workers where I work, and neither I nor they were happy about that. In the next dream, I came home and found a bunch of workers, whom I had not hired, nor needed, installing a new heating ventilation system in my home. They were scamming me and said they were hired by my brother and since I could not find the phone number of either of my brothers, I fired them all. Needless to say, they were not happy, nor were their families and children (all of whom were apparently there at my house installing air ducts along with a furnace or two.) In the third dream, I am visiting a nursing home and am watching two cats play with one another. Suddenly one of the cats spontaneously combusts and is in flames. When I reach for a drinking glass to fill it with water and douse the flaming cat, I realize the glass has no bottom to it.

What was that all about? Even though Andy Williams is singing about this being “the most wonderful time of the year!” I am dreaming of flaming cats and out of work heating contractors.

I am sure that by now, all of you board-certified clinical counselors and therapists and amateur dream de-coders are analyzing my dreams and having a field day at my expense. But, I too, will weigh in with my interpretation.

 This is the “dilemma-season;” it’s supposed to be happy for all, but I am working with a lot of people who are hurting, or hurting all the more because it is supposed to be a happy time.  Maybe this is where my ability to intuit things better in sad/tragic time comes in to play? Each of the dreams took a happy thing (employment, cats playing) and turned it tragic (being fired or bursting into flames.)
It probably indicates the duality of this season; I long to be optimistic, especially NOW… but am realistic. This season brings out the very best in people, it really does. But to see the difficulties which people face; it is all the more painful.

I’m pretty realistic about the temper of the times, but remain optimistic and indeed, hopeful that we have much to look forward to. Though I admit, I am rather disturbed about my ability to have dreams concerning combustible cats.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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